Why you might consider teaching while job hunting

February 2, 2010 at 3:01 am Leave a comment

For job hunters looking to jump-start a stalled search, temporary work may make sense — especially if it is relevant to your specific career goals. Not only will a temporary position help pay the bills but such work can offer a chance to polish your skills and network — on a daily basis — with people who may be able to help you secure a permanent job down the road. (See Nov. 18 post, “The temptation of temp work.”)

Yet where does one find steady temp work for which journalists would be qualified right away? Teaching may fit the bill. Journalists — especially those who have been managers and coached other journalists — have a ready-made skill set for teaching. Such jobs are attractive because they often provide flexibility to continue job hunting, allow one to network (especially in a college or university setting) and don’t require long-term commitments that a job hunter would be reluctant to make.

Here are other reasons why teaching may make sense, and some tips on finding a good part-time teaching job:

*Colleges (including community colleges, where enrollment has been soaring in recent years with the economic downturn) and universities are in need of part-time, adjunct instructors. As colleges expand their communications offerings — especially with digital and multimedia courses — they need instructors who have experience in this area, but with tight budgets they often can’t afford full-time professors. So they are turning to journalists. A recent New York Times article noted that education is one of the few areas in the economy that has been growing in recent years partly because laid-off workers are returning to college to brush up on their skills until hiring heats up again. So why not be part of the trend — but in the front of the classroom!

*In the D.C. area there are a wealth of publicly funded (the University of Maryland, UDC and community colleges in nearly every county in the Va. and Md. suburbs of D.C.) and private (Georgetown, GWU, George Mason, Catholic, American and Johns Hopkins, to name a few) colleges and universities and many have communications, journalism or related programs. While some schools require a master’s degree or a PhD to teach, often colleges will waive that for someone with years of experience and specific expertise in the area in which an adjunct is needed — and journalism specialties are a case in point.

*Don’t forget about high schools, especially the D.C. area’s many private or elite public high schools with competitive student newspapers, yearbooks and literary and photography clubs — also, debate, speech and model U.N. programs. Often job-seeking journalists with some time on their hands are good bets to temporarily take over leadership of student-run papers or literary journals — and to teach a class or two as well. The pay may not be great but the experience could lead to other things. And you may be free to conduct a tutoring business on the side — observing ethical rules about not tutoring your own students, of course — that could bring in additional cash.

*To find these jobs, follow the steps you ordinarily would to land positions. Check out list-serves and education job boards for ideas on where to look (but remember, many other people are looking there as well), network like crazy (and if you have children, ask around at their schools about possible openings — parents in the PTA and booster club often are experts on where there is an unfilled need in the area’s schools) and ask people in your network for advice on how to position yourself to land a part-time teaching job. Publications including the Chronicle of Higher Education (based in D.C.), the individual Web sites of colleges and universities and the site Adjunctnation.com are good places to look for listings and ideas about openings.

*Once you get your foot in the door, even if you don’t have actual teaching experience (or it has been years since you taught, say as a teaching assistant while getting your master’s degree) emphasize the skills you have developed as a journalist that would serve you well as an instructor. If you have been an editor and supervised others, underscore your coaching abilities. If you have been a copy editor or graphic designer, emphasize how those skills would come in handy in teaching students to publish the student newspaper or Web site. If you have been a producer in a TV newsroom, discuss how you have put together packages and organized coverage — useful skills that could easily translate to preparing lesson plans and maintaining order in a high-school classroom.

*More good hiring news (it just keeps coming!) — Vicki Needham, a member of the CQ/Roll Call “Gang of 45” who left Roll Call in late September, has landed a temporary assignment at BNA covering tax policy on the Hill. Congratulations to Vicki, who has been an active contributor to this blog!

*A networking event this week to consider for Washington area women who are (or would like to be) in government relations, sponsored by the Washington Network Group:

Please join the Washington Network Group (WNG) and Women in Government Relations (WGR) when we convene our next reception, organized so that our Members and non-member guests may “gather, grip, and grin” for shameless networking purposes.

Thursday, February 4, 2010
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Bar Louie at Gallery Place
701 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Conveniently located at the Chinatown station
Cash bar / Complimentary hors d’oeuvres

About this Event:

This reception is convened by the WNG Government Roundtable, and is designed for government relations professionals in the greater Washington, D.C. region.  The event presents a networking and marketing opportunity for both professionals and companies to increase awareness of their mission and services. Our media partner is CEO Update.

*As always, some job leads to consider:

*Westlaw Business, a Thomson Reuters company, is seeking a writer/editor/analyst in D.C. for a publication targeted to business law professionals:

Business Law and Securities Writer/Editor/Analyst (Washington, DC Area)
Thomson Reuters-Boston – Washington, DC
Writer/Editor/Analyst Profession: Legal -> Paralegal Title: Business Law and Securities Writer/Editor… part of a team of legal editors* Monitor the news and…
From Jobfox

*The hat tip on this next position is Poynter.org.  The Alliance for Community Media in D.C. has an opening for an executive director:

Alliance for Community Media Executive Director POSTED: Feb 01
Salary: 90,000.00 – 100,000.00 Location: Washington, D.C.
Employer: Alliance for Community Media Type: Full Time – Experienced
Categories: Administration and Management, Communications and Public Relations, Other Preferred Education: 4 Year Degree
The Alliance for Community Media (ACM) seeks an Executive Director to lead this dynamic organization and take it to the next level. The ideal candidate should be committed to the mission of the organization and its success, and provide consistent support for its members through organizational management and operations, advocacy efforts, fundraising, leadership and coalition building.
The ACM is a national, non-profit membership organization that represents over 1,000 Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) access television, community media organizations, members and supporters throughout the country. Founded in 1976, the ACM is a leading advocate for localism and diversity in media and for media democracy.   Critical to the mission of the ACM is the preservation of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech, with corresponding legislation and policies to protect community channels and sustain funding for their operation. The ACM advances its mission through member development, public education, a progressive legislative and regulatory agenda, coalition building and grassroots organizing.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
The executive director serves as the chief executive officer and principal spokesperson of the ACM. Key responsibilities include:
  • Manage operations and administration of the organization utilizing staff, contractors and volunteer efforts to maximize resources.
  • Increase the organization’s membership and ensure members are provided services on a timely and consistent basis.
  • Develop and secure funding to build and maintain a strong, thriving and sustainable national non-profit organization.
  • Maintain appropriate fiscal and budgetary control of the organization. Prepare budgets and monitor expenses and revenues.
  • Lead advocacy efforts by representing ACM membership before Congress and the FCC, and supporting policy initiatives at the state level to protect and grow community access television.
  • Represent ACM membership in dealings with other public interest organizations and maintain an active role in the community.
  • Support educational activities that benefit ACM members, including national and regional conferences, publications and other activities.
  • Provide information and support to national and regional leadership of the organization, including the Board of Directors, and ACM national affiliates.
  • Work with the Board of Directors and staff to develop and implement all policies, procedures, and long-range strategic plans.  Prepare periodic reports regarding progress toward and barriers to the achievement of such policies and plans.
The individual will oversee the planning and delivery of ACM events, programs and products, including the ACM Annual Conference, the Community Media Review, books, videos, list-servs and the ACM web site. The executive director will develop written materials for the advancement of the ACM’s policy agenda and member communications. The executive director will enhance the business operations of the organization by developing and maintaining policies and procedures.
The executive director should be available to begin work in June 2010.
The ACM national office is currently located in downtown Washington, DC. The ACM expects to move to a virtual office in July 2010. The ACM offers a salary range of $90,000 – $100,000 per year plus a competitive benefits package. Relocation assistance is not provided. The ACM is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. For more information about the ACM, visit www.alliancecm.org
Applicants must submit a detailed letter of introduction (describing how their experience, knowledge and skills match the identified duties, responsibilities, and minimum employment standards and requirements of this position), a current resume, salary history/requirements, and at least three professional references with telephone numbers. Submit materials via e-mail (MS Word or PDF format documents as attachments) to: Jacci Duncan, Meridian Services, jduncan@meridianservicesonline.com
Deadline for submission: Applicant materials must be received by 5:00 PM, Friday Feb. 26, 2010.

*(These next two listings are from journalismjobs.com.) The International Council on Clean Transportation in D.C. is looking for a communications manager:

Company: The International Council on Clean
Communications Manager
Washington, District of Columbia
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: $75,000 to $100,000
Ad Expires:
March 8, 2010
Job ID: 1146661

Position Title: Communications Manager

Reports to: Executive Director

The International Council on Clean Transportation (www.theicct.org) is a global network of vehicle technology and policy experts with offices in Washington, DC, and San Francisco, Calif. Council participants and staff work closely with international bodies and governments in the world’s top 10 motor vehicle markets to reduce air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions from all modes of transportation.

The ICCT is seeking a Communications Manager who has a talent for translating and communicating technical information both online and in print. The Communications Manager will coordinate the maintenance of the organization’s website, develop outreach strategy and assist program staff in drafting print and online materials for the organization.

This is an excellent position for an experienced policy analyst or journalist who has a passion for energy and environmental issues and an understanding of related policies. It requires the production of compelling and accurate materials under tight deadlines and within a dynamic, team-based environment.

Major Responsibilities

•Maintaining and expanding the ICCT website to enhance communication of our technical and policy analysis. This includes drafting all web content in collaboration with ICCT’s team of technical program staff (mostly engineers, some economists).

•Responsibility for developing and implementing communications strategies to reach the world’s top government regulators and international experts. This will include working with outside communications firms to conduct global releases of ICCT reports. It will also include developing and maintaining a database of contacts and experts by region and expertise.

•Providing regular updates to keep ICCT council members and international experts informed of staff activities and other recent developments.

•Assisting ICCT technical staff in writing and editing technical reports, with particular attention to executive summaries.

•Serving as a writing and editing resource for all departments within the ICCT and the ICCT’s network, as needed.


The position calls for an unusual combination of experience in communications, environmental policy, science and engineering. Candidates should have a combination of experience that encompasses most if not all of those areas including:

•Bachelor’s degree or higher in communications, journalism, science or engineering

•At least four years of experience in journalism, technical communications, science communications, or technology-related publishing field

•Facility with online communications tools

•Excellent verbal, written and proofreading skills

•Ability to work with PhD scientists, engineers and economists, including some non-native English speakers

•Consideration given to knowledge of languages other than English

Job details

Annual salary will be in the range of $70,000 to $90,000, depending on experience. A generous benefits package is provided, including health, vision, dental and life insurance; 403(b) retirement plan with automatic 5% employer contribution; and four weeks vacation after one year.

The position is located in downtown Washington DC, one block from the McPherson Square Metro station and three blocks from the Metro Center station. The position will require some international and domestic travel.

Please email a resume, cover letter, writing sample, contact information for three references and salary expectations to jobs@theicct.org. Include the position name in the subject of your e-mail.

Candidates will be considered on a first come, first served basis and the position will remain open until filled. Please do not contact our offices; we will contact qualified candidates. No agency inquiries or solicitations.

*Physicians Practice,  a division of UBM Medica,  has an opening  in Baltimore (just up I-95 — it’s not that far!) for an associate editor:

Company: Physicians Practice
Associate Editor
Baltimore, Maryland
Job Status: Full-time
Salary: Not Specified
Ad Expires:
March 3, 2010
Job ID: 1145775

Physicians Practice, a division of UBM Medica, provides business and practice management information to private practice physicians. Physicians Practice has America’s largest circulation physician business magazine, a robust and growing Web site, electronic newsletters, and a host of custom projects — online, in print, and live — for a variety of healthcare clients.

Job Description: Physicians Practice is looking for an Associate Editor to advance our mission of improving American healthcare by helping physicians manage more efficient practices. Based in our Baltimore headquarters and reporting to the Managing Editor, the full-time Associate Editor position will write, edit, and contribute other content-development duties as needed, for all product lines.

Qualifications: The successful candidate is highly organized and detail-oriented and is capable of handling multiple deadlines and different types of assignments simultaneously. S/he enjoys interacting with physicians, non-physician providers and staff, is capable of representing Physicians Practice professionally, and is willing to travel occasionally for projects and events. S/he is also an experienced and versatile writer and editor, is comfortable working in all media, including print, broadcast, and online, and is a quick study of emerging communication platforms and technologies.

Experience in writing about business, particularly the business of healthcare, is preferred. A demonstrated knowledge of such issues is required.

To apply, please email your cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: ecrecruitment@cmpmedica.com UBM Medica (formerly CMPMedica) (http://www.ubmmedica.com) is a leading global provider of healthcare media, information, and education for the medical industry. Our vast portfolio of products and services serves the needs of general practitioners, specialist doctors, pharmacists, and patients, through a comprehensive list of journals, magazines, directories, electronic databases, websites, and face-to-face meetings.

UBM Medica offers over 30 years of medical industry experience and employs over 1,400 people in 29 different countries. We are the healthcare media division of United Business Media (http://www.unitedbusinessmedia.com), a leading global media company of news distribution, media, and specialized information services. UBM Medica offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits which include: medical, dental, vision, retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, and more! Equal Opportunity Employer.

Happy hunting!



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Interview questions to anticipate How to translate your previous experience for current openings

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